The single-largest shareholder of the FBN Holdings Plc with some 7.6 per cent stake, Femi Otedola, may have appointed a loyalist, Julius B. Omodayo-Owotuga as Non-Executive Director of the Group.
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This is after a three-month battle for the soul and heart of FBN Holdings Plc between Otedola and Hassan Odukale. Odukale’s related companies, mainly Leadway Assurance, remain an influential shareholder of FBN Holdings.
Omodayo-Owotuga is said to be a core loyalist of Otedola, who currently serves as the Deputy CEO at his Geregu Power Plc and formerly Executive Director, Finance at Forte Oil Plc, prior the divestment of the business by Otedola.
In a notice to the Nigeria Exchange Limited, FBN said Omodayo-Owotuga has been appointed as a Non-Executive Director of FBN Holdings Plc. “The appointment has been approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria,” FBN said in the notice dated February 1, 2022.
Previously, he served as Group Executive Director, Finance and Risk Management at Forte Plc (now Ardova Plc), with executive accountability for various functions, including finance, risk management, internal control, and treasury.
The battle for the soul of FBN is quite understandable as First Bank is the country’s second-biggest lender in terms of customer base, a major financier of big projects in Nigeria’s oil and gas, power, and other sectors with a significant impact on the nation’s economy.
The share price of FBN Holdings seem to have stabilised, closing at N11.05 per share at the close of market on Wednesday, 9 February 2022, some 3.07 percent loss year-to-date.
It was also learnt that the Group may restructure its agency banking business, Firstmonie, considering the valuation of competing non-bank agency banking businesses such as Opay, which is valued at over $1bn last year when it raised $400m led by SoftBank.
Commenting on Owotuga’s appointment, the Chief Executive Officer of Deep Trust and Asset Management Ltd, Isaac Olorungbon, noted, “This appointment is an expected corporate action ahead of the upcoming Annual General Meeting, where shareholders would ratify and/or elect new Directors for the group”.